Who’s Abroad!

News & Events from Keystone College, La Plume, PA

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Laura Kern’s Blog from London

July 10th, 2018 · Comments Off

Sodexo International Internship 2018: London

The past two weeks has been filled with excitement. During the first week, my fellow intern Cassandra and I visited the University College of London and City College of London. In terms of scale and location both colleges were so different from our own school, Keystone College. Keystone holds 1,500 students while University of College of London alone holds around 38,000. Both colleges are within easy walking distance to the high streets, while Keystone College is a 15 minute drive away from a small town. This affects the way Sodexo accounts sell to their students. Being so close to the high streets, Sodexo has to compete with many other dining services. They have to promote themselves and respond to the students’ demands while also maintaining Sodexo standards and values. This applies to student accommodation, which we learned about in Newcastle the second week.

Within the borders of the city there are many competitions waging; the eternal debate between Newcastle and Gateshead of whose city is better, the stunning contrast between old and modern architecture, and the competition between Sodexo’s student accommodation and private providers. During our time in Newcastle, we were given tours of the student accommodation dorms for Northumbria University, and learned about the impressive team that runs them. Nicola and the house managers have to stay on their toes when the students sometimes decide that they have their own ideas on how to customize their dorms while also maintaining a sense of good humor. The General Manager, Ian McLackland, who juggles not only the budget for running the dorms on Trinity square, but also the discipline for students who have more than just studying on their minds. From, Tom Martin, always in good spirits even early in the morning, told us about student environment and how Sodexo works to allow the students have the best experience they can while staying in a home away from home. Working with Jill Sargent, manager of Oxford House, we learned what the students demand from student accommodations. Students want privacy, an on suite bathroom, and plenty of space. Should they feel that they are not receiving this, they can easily move to a private independent provider off campus. This is extremely different from Keystone College where in one room, two to three people can share a bedroom and all of the dorms have communal kitchens and bathrooms. I was surprised and, admittedly, a bit envious of the studio apartments that Sodexo offered here. This means that Sodexo has to accommodate the students’ wants while compete with independent providers.

Overall, it has been inspiring and humbling to see the large network that is Sodexo. Being onsite at accounts has allowed me to experience the welcoming environment that customers experience from beginning to end. I know, I will definitely take all that I learn and share it with my community back home.


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Interns in London

June 28th, 2018 · Comments Off

This summer, Cassandra Purcell and Laura Kern are interning with Sodexo in London.  Read about their exciting experiences below.

Blog from Cassandra: 

Interning abroad and sightseeing in London has been a great experience and lots of fun! It is now my last week interning. These are some of the assignments I had and what I researched and experienced.

The first weeks’ task was to explore the businesses of London on the high streets near two of the universities in which Sodexo partners with. There I gained insights about the young adult trending food market while designing a potential student restaurant business plan. The most obvious differences in food choices on high streets in London compared to America are the trend to eat healthier. This was most obvious in the creativity of packaging and labeling of food because of the persuasive words and color choices.

The second week consisted of touring student’s accommodations in Newcastle and Gateshead area. I found that college students look for similar highlights in their accommodations. That is, affordable, updated and convenient housing. The most obvious student accommodation difference is, in America most students share a room with one or two other people but students here all get their own accommodation room. 

During the last week I am researching social media accounts of universities and learning why student mental health matters. I found that Twitter is an essential marketing tool for universities to reach students and their families. It was most interesting to see the differences in how Sodexo student accommodations may recruit students compared to how universities recruit students. Sodexo shows its customers they are interested in the student’s well-being and living experience. However, universities tended to show off student success and use social media as a tool to spread the word of daily campus events. 

London has been amazing so far, giving me the opportunities to experience new cultures and ideas. Some of the places I got to see were the Tower Bridge, London Eye, Kew Gardens, Stonehenge, and Angel of the North. Surprisingly enough, I think I have seen more coffee shops than fish and chips restaurants! Next week Laura and I set off on out trips to France and Italy! 

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Summer Interns in Paris

June 16th, 2017 · No Comments

This summer, Keystone students Mariana Correa Costa and Joanna Wallace are interning with the Sodexo company in Paris, France.  Follow the students through their amazing experience!

Sodexo France Interns - Week 1&2

We’re Mariana and Joanna, and we are currently interning at Sodexo in France. Our internship consists of a nonchalant environment with people always willing to help us out whenever we have any questions, site visits, and getting to know Sodexo even more. Besides work, we’ve also managed to have time to go through some hardships at the post office, walk a lot around the streets of Paris, with the Seine watching our every move.

When it comes to work, I (Mariana) have been doing the fun job of finding cat pictures that fall into profiles that many companies use to catch the attention of people around the world, such as the sense of belonging, or the opportunity to relax. Joanna has been reading consumer analysis reports and gathering the most important information into a power point presentation. We have started helping out with Sodexo’s internal database on writing small descriptions for different researches that are in the database as well as small “fresh thinking” blog posts to highlight certain researches. We have also had the opportunity to go on a meeting on a boat in the Seine that is managed by Sodexo called Yatch de Paris. We got the chance to visit a business center called Etoile St Honoré, in which the conference rooms were managed by Sodexo. And, lastly, we were able to go to VivaTech, which is a technology convention in Paris.

We have done a good amount of sightseeing in France, including the Eiffel Tower (during golden hour), Montmartre and the Sacre Cœur Basilica, Versailles ( on one of the hottest days. Thanks, Sun King!), we also went to the island where Norte Dame is. Our favorite thing so far has been drinking a good wine and eating something while sitting by the Seine surrounded by fellow Parisians, we also got to see a band rehearsing as well as people dancing at the Jardins Toni Rossi. Another fun opportunity we had, thanks to the people at Sodexo, was to see a baroque opera concert at the St Severin Cathedral. We also had the fun experience of going to the post office and using my very limited French to ask for stamps to send post cards to the U.S. (I’m still proud of myself).

Our adventures in the City of Light have just begun, there’s still a lot more to come but hopefully no more post office adventures.

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Chelsie and Julia’s Final Week

August 1st, 2016 · Comments Off

Chelsie wrote:

Our last week was spent in Italy! Venice is one of the most unique yet beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. There are no roadways and cars…just boats and water everywhere! We stayed in an adorable bed & breakfast just outside the city of Treviso. It was very authentic and the couple who owned it were amazing! They were so helpful and they were like our parents away from home! Figuring out the transportation was difficult, but we finally got it after getting lost two hours north of Treviso. I guess that’s part of the learning experience! 

The culture is definitely different there…drinking wine is acceptable at any time of the day and dinner isn’t until 8-9pm. Cafes and bakeries are so common! Everything is closed on Sundays, and cafes open in the morning, then close all afternoon until dinner time. I definitely would love to go back to Italy someday! It is a very beautiful country and people are generally nice and helpful there. 

I miss London already and I cannot wait to go back someday! But landing back in the States and seeing my family was amazing and such a relief. This past month was indescribable. It’s hard to believe I visited 3 countries in a month. Being back home in the middle of nowhere makes it feel like it was all just a dream. I am incredibly thankful and being able to live a new life in the city of London really opens your eyes to so many new things. Even though they speak the same language as us, there is still many differences! I definitely came home from this experience with a better understanding and a more open mind about different cultures. That’s what makes traveling fun and it is honestly the greatest way to learn. If the world was all the same, there would be nothing new to look forward to. 

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The Sodexo Interns are in Italy!

July 27th, 2016 · No Comments

Ciao,

We are in Treviso, Italy. It is within Venice but in a lot less of a touristy area and that could have been the best idea we’ve had. Sure, going to see Venice is a much do to check off the list but when you stay were the natives are your discover that pizza isn’t what you think it is, spaghetti and meatballs aren’t even Italian and gelato is acceptable to be eaten any time of the day! It also forces you to learn some of the basics because in the touristy areas, you’re more likely to find an English speaking person. Now sometimes I may sound silly saying some Italian phrases or words but you can tell that it is appreciated when you attempt it. 

Today we spent the day in Venice! To say it’s beautiful is an understatement! We took a trip down the grand canal all the way to St. Marcos square. What an opportunity!

Post from Julia Foglio

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Chelsie’s Weekend in Paris

July 19th, 2016 · Comments Off

We made it back safely to London today and we are happy to be back! When we first landed in Paris, we knew the language barrier would be tough, but most people we spoke to knew some English. Because we landed at night in a city we’ve never been, it felt creepy, but that feeling never really subsided. Once we got to our very first hostel, we were greeted by the guys behind the desk and they were very friendly and helpful and spoke English fluently. Our room was small but nice and free breakfast was included. Our very first hostel stay was a positive experience! On Saturday we spent the whole day doing typical touristy stuff. We did a free walking tour and learned so much history on France and some of the monuments and landmarks. While on the tour, we met a girl from Pennsylvania! We spent the afternoon with her eating lunch and visiting the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower exceeded my expectations. It was amazing.

 

This entire trip is going by quicker and quicker each week. I can’t believe we start our last week with Sodexo tomorrow! It will definitely be bittersweet. Then it’s off to Italy for our last week! After being away in Paris made coming back to London feel so familiar and homey.

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Chelsie Bartlett

 

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My Experience as a Sodexo Intern - Julia Foglio

July 19th, 2016 · No Comments

There is just one full week left and much more to learn but as of now, working as an intern for Sodexo has given me a clearer look on what I wish to accomplish in my future career. Next week I will be meeting and shadowing the Research Analysis at this site. I hope to better understand what it will be like to work for this company and what kind of research happens behind the scenes. This field isn’t entirely what I wish to do but everyone has a starting point. I would have to say the “learning experience” doesn’t happen in the office. It is when you get on the wrong tube line, spill hot coffee all over your lap on the air plane, get lost in a foreign city and order what you can’t even pronounce on the menu is where you begin to learn. Learn that it’s okay to be out of your comfort zone and understand how to take control of a situation. I’d have to say this is an experience of a lifetime.

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Julia Foglio on a Weekend in Paris

July 19th, 2016 · Comments Off

Bonjour,

We are back in beautiful Ravens court and I couldn’t be more excited. The feeling is similar to a home away from home. The flight to and from Paris felt like it only took two minutes and the view was amazing. As for Paris itself, I was in high alert from the second I got off the plane. There are a lot of people everywhere and the language barrier was the hardest thing to work through. We went on a beautiful tour of Paris and I learned more there then I ever did in history class. Who knew the Eiffel Tower was originally made to be up for 20 years?! Another thing I was surprised about was the Mona Lisa was in Paris and I always thought it was in Italy! Well, all in all Paris was amazing to see but I’m glad we did it for a weekend trip and not a full week. Only one more week of the internship which I will truly miss! Then we are off to amazing Italy for a week. There has been nothing but lessons learned and memories made. Thanks Sodexo!

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Julia Foglio

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Sodexo Interns in London

July 12th, 2016 · No Comments

Julia Foglio and Chelsie Bartlett are interning for the month of July at Sodexo in London.  Read about their experiences.

Julia wrote:

Good morning!

It’s officially been 10 days in London! It is flying by so fast with work and going to all the sights. As for the internship they have assigned me with a lot of different types of research on several different topics. My favorite assignment has to be going to cultural destinations and reporting on the eye of the customer. So far, I visited some of the competitors of Sodexo which are located in the British museum and the Somerset house as well as stopping in on some of the work Sodexo takes part in like the Bateaux at London.  This is where they took Chelsie and I on the dinner cruise for afternoon tea. We also visited the Chelsea Flower Show next to Hampton Court Palace.

Aside from work, we have been traveling all over London. Just this past weekend, we took a ride on the London eye, visited the Wax Museum, and a very long market on Portobello Road. When we first arrived it was definitely a shocking change from the everyday life I was used to.  I’d like to say that I have perfected the routes on the tube, but I find a new one every day to get to work easier! I don’t favor public transportation, but I have recently learned that London is trying to get rid of cars all together. There is a charge to even enter the city and drive throughout London. I believe it is 10lbs. Another change (which is for the better) is that Chelsie and I have been walking anywhere from 5 to 9 miles a day. This trip is one of a life time. Attached are some photos of our adventures.

Chelsie wrote:

Just wanted to update you on our first week! We have learned and done so much already. Work has been fun - it’s different every day! We get to visit popular venues that Sodexo or our competitors work with along with research and small projects in the office. It took a few days to adjust to the time difference and we are navigating the tube rather well now! I can’t believe we are beginning our second week already! Attached you should find a few pictures of us around London!

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Puerto Rico Experiences

June 1st, 2016 · Comments Off

On May 15th, 2016, fourteen Keystone College students, myself included, met at the college at 4:30 am to start off our travel day.  After a two hour drive to the Newark Airport, our flight departed for Puerto Rico at 9am. Once we landed in San Juan we enjoyed lunch at Bebos.  Bebos is said to be the place everyone stops at once they get to Puerto Rico, to enjoy their first taste of authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Their food was amazing! After lunch we hit the road to Ponce, which is located on the other side of the island. Along the way we stopped at the Monumento al Jíbaro Puertorriqueño which is located right in the middle of Puerto Rico. The monument inscription read “The hardworking pioneers (farmers, wood craftsman, hunters) are hardly ever honored for their contribution to a  nation. The people (Jíbaro in Puerto Rican Spanish) lived simple lives, working the land, and caring for their families with what little they had.  They were the backbone of every society.”  After learning about the monument we continued our trip to Ponce. Once in Ponce we checked into the Hotel Melia, and had dinner at La Parorama.

 

By: Rachael Ogden and Samantha Seidel

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